Category Archives: Devotion

God Uses a Cracked Pot

God Uses a Cracked Pot

I readily admit and am often reminded that I am less than perfect, a “cracked pot” so to speak. Yet I do my best to pray, listen and act on God’s message. God uses all of His children to make the world He created, our world, a better place. Many of us may be familiar with the story of the “Cracked Pot.” I suggest we take this time to reflect on the story and discern if there is something beautiful we may offer within ourselves to contribute to His kingdom.

Cracked Pot
Cracked Pot

A Water Bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on the end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years, this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and one-half pots of water to his master’s house.

The perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the Water Bearer one day by the stream: “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”

“Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”

“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The Water Bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion, he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again, it apologize to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

Each of us has our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots.

But if we will allow it, Jesus will use our flaws to grace His Father’s table. In God’s great economy, nothing goes to waste.

So, as we seek ways to minister together, and as God calls you to tasks He has appointed for you, don’t be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them, and allow Him to take advantage of them, and you, too, can be the cause of beauty in his pathway.

Go out boldly, knowing that in our weakness, we find His strength.

– Lutheran Indian Ministry

SYATP

SEE YOU AT THE POLE 2016

Join Us! Wednesday, September 28

See You at the Pole
See You at the Pole

WE CRY OUT
A generation seeking Him!
SYATP.com
Power in Prayer!

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah. Psalm 24:3–6.

In the U.S., school-sponsored prayers in public schools have been found unconstitutional, but prayers organized by students themselves are allowed and protected by the right to free speech.

If.
SYATP. (2013).

Calm My Soul

Calm My Soul

Be still, and know that I am God. Ps. 46:10.

American Niagara Falls at Sunset
American Niagara Falls at Sunset

While attending a concert, my thoughts detoured to a troublesome issue that came to the front of my mind and demanded my attention. Thankfully, the distraction was short-lived as the words of a beautiful hymn began to reach deep into my being. A men’s a capella group was singing “Be Still, My Soul.” Tears welled up as I listened to the words and contemplated the restful peace that only God can give:

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side! Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain; leave to thy God to order and provide; in every change He faithful will remain.

When we keep our minds on Jesus, He keeps our minds at peace.

When Jesus was denouncing the unrepentant towns where He had done most of His miracles (Matt. 11:20–24), He still had words of comfort for those who would come to Him. He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened … learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matt. 11:28.

This statement is striking! Immediately following His strong words for those who were rejecting Him, Jesus extended an invitation to all to draw near to Him to find the peace we all yearn for. Jesus is the only one who can calm our restless, weary souls. – Joe Stowell. Daily Bread.

Prayer: I come to You now, Lord, in need of rest for my heart. Help me to trust You and be confident in Your love.

When we keep our minds on Jesus, He keeps our minds at peace.

Our passage today comes on the heels of Jesus denouncing the cities where most of His miracles were performed. Matt. 11:20–24. Bethsaida, one of the denounced cities, literally means “fisherman’s house.” It was a village on the north side of the Sea of Galilee and could have been the birthplace of three of the disciples: Andrew, Peter, and Philip.

Be Still My Soul.
Kathrina Von Schlegel. (1750).
performed by Naturally 7. á cappella.
Vocal Play Album. (2010). Lucerne, Switzerland.

Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side; Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain; Leave to thy God to order and provide; In every change He faithful will remain. Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly, Friend Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Calm My Soul
Airborne Films. Brain Wave Entertainment.
Soothing music.

For further reading: The Lord Is My Shepherd at discoveryseries.org/hp952
Study with David Roper as Teacher:
https://d3uet6ae1sqvww.cloudfront.net/pdf/discovery-series/the-lord-is-my-shepherd.pdf

Keeping Faith

Keeping Faith

It’s tempting to think of faith as a kind of magic formula. If you muster up enough of it, you’ll get rich, stay healthy, and live a contented life with automatic answers to all your prayers.

Keeping Faith
Keeping Faith

But life does not work according to such neat formulas. As proof, the author of Hebrews presents a stirring reminder of what constitutes “true faith” by reviewing the lives of some Old Testament giants of faith. Heb. 11.

“Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” Heb. 11:6. In describing faith we see the word persevered. Heb. 27. As a result of their faith, some heroes triumph: They rout armies, escape the sword, survive lions. But others meet less happy ends: flogging, stoning, severing. The chapter concludes, “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.” Heb. 39.

Give me a faith that trusts You wholeheartedly, Lord.
The picture of faith that emerges does not fit simply. Sometimes it leads to victory and triumph. Sometimes it requires a gritty determination to “hang on at any cost.” Of such people, “God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” Heb. 16.

What our faith rests on is the belief that God is in ultimate control and will indeed keep His promises, whether that happens in this life or the next. – Philip Yancey. Daily Bread.

Give me a faith that trusts You wholeheartedly, Lord.

Our greatest comfort in sorrow is to know that God is in control.

Hebrews 11 has been called the “Hall of Faith.” In it we read of diverse people who face trials and tribulations far beyond what many of us face. Yet all persevered by trusting the Lord. By the Grace of God, we can do the same.

 

Keeping the Faith
Billy Joel

If it seems like I’ve been lost
In let’s remember
If you think I’m feeling older
And missing my younger days
Oh, then you should have known
Me much better
Cause my past is something that never
Got in my way